ANSTHRLD - Name Documentation - Mikhail Kettering

Tim McDaniel tmcd at
Tue Feb 20 23:11:10 PST 2001

On Tue, 20 Feb 2001, Ansteorran Kingdom Star Principal Herald
<herald at> wrote:
> Barring that he would like to try for Michael of the Fray. He is a
> member of the SCA group called 'The Fray' and has permission from
> the group for using the locative. The problem is that the name is
> not registered with the SCA and I do not know enough about names to
> know if this is possible. I have my doubts, but it never hurts to
> ask.

I have a tangent about the letter of permission: it can't hurt, and it
might possibly help, and it's certainly a nice courtesy, but I think
that, strictly speaking, it's not needed.  Certainly an *SCA branch*
does not control use of their name in surnames -- I can be "Daniel of
An Tir" without a letter of permission of any sort, and in fact they
can't block it in any way.  But this is apparently some sort of
household, and I don't know of any precedents on households.  But I
suspect that, like with SCA branches, the household name is also
unprotected for personal surnames.  There's a Bruce precedent that
talks about the reverse direction from the instant case:

    In particular, since a period house name was so often simply the
    surname, byname, or epithet of its founder, any such epithet that
    is acceptable in a Society personal name should be acceptable as a
    Society household name.  This is the rule of thumb I've formulated
    for determining the acceptability of household names henceforth.
    If we would register John X, we should register House X as well.

so I think that in at least most cases, House X would justify Michael
X.  That is, if X is justifiable, you could at least in most cases use
the same line of reasoning to say that Mike X is OK.  The only grounds
for return would be pretense, but I have a hard time thinking of a
SCA household important enough to protect.

However, I doubt that "of the Fray" is doable.

Fray is in Reaney & Wilson (3rd ed p 177 sn itself) as a given name in
that spelling 1230 and 1232, and as Frei and Fray as a surname
starting in 1275 (the common case in England of a given name turning
into an unmarked surname).  However, they say "Old French Fray, a
personal name of which the origin is unknown.  v. Dauzat."

So he could be Michael Fray if he likes, but I don't like suggesting
it because it doesn't mean anything like what he or anyone else might
think by looking at it.  It just means that he had a male ancestor
named, for some unknown reason, Fray.

But I'd sigh silently internally and mention it anyway, because he may
want it and it is unethical for me or any other herald to hide data
from a client.

Daniel de Lincolia
Tim McDaniel (home); Reply-To: tmcd at; 
if that fail, my work address is tmcd at
 "To join the Clueless Club, send a followup to this message quoting every-
 thing up to and including this sig!" -- Jukka.Korpela at (Jukka Korpela)

Go to to perform mailing list tasks.

More information about the Heralds mailing list